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May 25, 2006

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clarice

Very good. I'd add a footnote, in his public statements Russert keeps talking about a June conversation with Libby and the indictment refers to a conversation on JULY 11 0r 12. He admits that when Wilson's July 6 op ed came out (and Wilson was a MTP guest that very day) their was "buzz" in the newsroom about what that was all about. So, if the indictment date is correct, (a) why does he keep referring to a conversation a month earlier, and (b) hasn't he admitted interest in the issue within days of the disputed call?

Patton

Perhaps Armitage was pissed because that information about Plame was only supposed to be deep background.

If the idea was to steer the press to the truth...Plame sent Wilsons, but not come out and say it on record.

So Libby tells Miller (Who Wilson wrote OP-ED) that on deep background (not for publication) that Wilsons wife sent him not Cheney, so Miller would go back to the NYT and get them to correct themselves.

Aermitage could have been doing similar and the talks with Cooper were alo deep background...then reporters like Novak called the CIA and the deep background to get them to write accurate stories became the big news.

clarice

******theRE was "buzz****

Kate

I also thought the article from the WAPO was better than most of the sloppy articles that are out there. Also, much better than Joe and Val's friend and involved reporter Pincus.

I understand that you want this reporter to clarify Russert's position, however, I was struck by how you assume, correctly I believe, that all reporters want a Libby conviction and want the media to come out of the unscathed. I believe you are right, but I wish they just wanted the facts to come out and justice to be done. They are such cheerleaders.

Syl

Excellent job, Tom. You've really nailed it.

Tom Bowler

I'm intrigued by the Russert non denial. Compare it to what should have been the non story that was Ambassador Joe's trip to Africa. Instead of it being about some looney tune out to make waves, Russert and the rest of the press have carried on as if it were the truth. Not only was it possible for Wilson to go off to uncover secrets in Africa in the space of eight days, they've been hinting and implying right along that he actually did, and that what he learned contradicted the Administration.

In my unsophisticated non-lawyerly mind I keep thinking that the defense is going to offer an alternative motive for Libby's actions to the one Fitzgerald is pushing. As was said in the earlier post, Fitz seems to have opened the door for one by bringing up Cheney's demand that "all" the facts be put out. Since this appears to be a confrontration between Libby and the press - he said/he said - I wonder if Team Libby will take that angle of the disagreement and attack press credibility on it. Wishful thinking on my part maybe, but I would expect media luminaries could be made to look pretty unreliable as witnesses by it.

sad

TM
I'm anxious to see your take on the new Waas article.

http://news.nationaljournal.com/articles/0525nj1.htm

MayBee

It will be interesting to hear the questioning opened up a little where Russert is concerned.
Clarice raises an excellent point about the dates.
I am just curious- Russert "wishes" he knew about Plame, and Russert says "everyone" is trying to figure it out. So he's got Libby on the phone talking about Wilson and...??? Nothing? He doesn't ask him any questions or fish around a little bit? He just says thanks, and hangs up? I don't buy it.

sad

Clarice

What are the possibilities surrounding the June conversation Russert reveals? Have been waiting for your thoughts since it came to light.

clarice

I cannot understand why russert talks publicly about a conversation in June when the case involves a conversation in July, except that he is deflecting attention from the fact that his version is far less probable if it occurred on July 11 or 12 which was between the Wilson op ed and appearance on MTP on July 6 and the Novak article on July 14.

owl

Like this post TM. Pretty shocking when you see all those Mitchells together...so just for fun background, add the Mitchell MTP/Wilson July 6 and Mitchell/Wilson interview July 24.

If anyone asks Russert anything, I just want to know a)did you talk about Wilson b)did you talk about Wilson saying the VP sent him.

If they ask about a conversation in June....same 2 questions but substitute 'unnamed Amb for Wilson'.

Patrick R. Sullivan

The Waas article is pretty funny. Especially the part where he has Geneva Overholser commenting that she can't believe Novak would write an article based on Rove's 'I heard that too'.

Blithely obtuse to the fact that Novak had it confirmed by a CIA spokesman.

ed

Blithely obtuse to the fact that Novak had it confirmed by a CIA spokesman.

Really? I forgot the part where the CIA confirmed to Novak that Plame helped get Wilson the trip. Cause that's what Rove's "I heard that too" was in reference too.

Cromagnon

Another Libby filing, and another post by Maguire telling us its really actually great news for the Libby team. In fact, one wonders why ole Fitz even continues on seeings how Maguire has already figured out there's really nothing to see here, move along now... LOL

vnjagvet

Cro's comment shows that his nickname is apropos. Able to use a blunt instrument, but, for his own safety, not able to use the sharpest knife in the drawer. It might cut him if he is not careful.

Cro might consider slinking back to his cave.

Specter

Cro,

anytime you want to debate facts rather than just attack and run - let us know.

Rick Ballard
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

Seeing that as if for the first time Ed? It's just Novak in the original column - kinda easy to forget.

Patton

It is also logical that Russert could have said something more innocuous such as:

Russert: We know Cheney didn't send Wilson, but nodody will tell us who did, what do you know.

or
Russert: We've heard that maybe this was more of a junket by Wilson, do you know anything or have any evidence this may have been ajunket and not serious CIA business?

or

Russert: Andrea says she thinks someone at CIA sent Joe, and the VP is OK, what are you hearing.

Any similar comment could have made Libby think he was hearing about Plame and re-triggering his memory.

topsecretk9

As per Byron Yorks comment...

...Karl Rove has never urged anyone, directly or indirectly, to withhold information from the Special Counsel or to testify falsely. No one has ever said or implied to Karl Rove that he intended to do so. The Special Counsel has never suggested that there is any evidence to support such an allegation. Frankly, it is hard to think of anything less reliable or less relevant than what investigators may or may not have speculated before they had started collecting evidence. Circulating such speculation now is nothing short of irresponsible.

One last thing. National Journal reports that investigators first learned about the September 29, 2003 phone call between Rove and Novak from…Rove himself, who told FBI agents about it during his very first conversation with them in Fall 2003...

Can someone confirm this (comment left on other thread)

One question about this Novak thing...wasn't it conventional thought (especially among the left) that Rove did not tell Fitz about Novak at the first GJ appearance, let alone first FBI meeting? -- it was 2nd GJ time or some such?

So in a roundabout way Waas has dashed this notion...and it appears that Rove has been MORE forthcoming...hmmmm

vnjagvet

Looking at the Novak original, again as if for the first time, something just jumped out at me. The first sentence lacks attribution, including the phrase, "but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction". Note that this is the portion of the Novak column which is and has been asserted to contain the allegedly classified information that Ms. Plame worked for the CIA on weapons of mass distruction.

It is the information in the second and third sentences that is sourced.

In the second sentence, the information conveyed is that Wilson's wife "suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report". This information is traced to the "two senior administration officials" who told Novak about that fact.
Never has that fact been asserted by anyone to be classified.

In the third sentence, Novak writes "the CIA says its counterproliferation officials [not Plame] selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him". This fact again has never been asserted to have been classified. And no senior whitehouse official is cited.

Why is this important? Because Novak apparently did not find out about Plame's CIA employment from "senior administration officials". It is more likely that such information was "common knowledge" as Andrea Mitchell famously blurted out and has been trying (somewhat unsuccessfully, it appears_) to retract.

The inference I draw from the Novak column is that he was careful to source information which was controversial or sensitive. He did not source the information that Plame was employed by the CIA. Ergo, at least he did not think that information was either controversial or sensitive.

Patton

I don't know what the journalism edicate is, but I thought reporters don't normally source stuff that is publicly disclosed such as by a spokesperson or someone who interfaces with the media.

Novak may have learned this from the CIA spokesperson themselves.

If Tony Snow tells you something...you wouldn't normally say - -an adminstration official, or the President spokemen, you would just report the information or maybe say 'The White House" today said......

verner

Cromagnon? from that comment I would have taken you for an australopithecus--even though your comment wasn't that "pithy"

You know, small brained, upright posture...

SteveMG

edicate?

Etiquette.

Sorry, had to correct that one. It was screaming at me and wouldn't stop.

SMG

Carol Herman

Calebrisi. Works at the WaPo. Co-authored the article annotated by Cheney. AND, there must be phone records; because Libby's defense has pointed out that RUSSERT had phone calls on either end of his talks with Libby.

And, how does Russert respond on the stand if his memory serves him well? All sorts of other questions from that period of time can freeze him out to look like a liar.

Let alone what else comes down the pike this summer.

Also, this is Fitzgerald's SHOVEL. He's digging THIS HOLE. And, he adds information that twists the truth.

At some point Walton's gotta respond, don't cha think? You'd like to be the judge on the receiving end of this garbage? YOU don't see that it's being used to manipulate the media?

What if this case has legs?

In other words, years from now, as people go about studying the law, all the ramifications happening at the trial court level will be bantied about. Won't one professor stand up to the plate and disgorge the words that need to be said, here?

Since when do prosecutors get all this reach? No hands out at all to slap him down?

How come the FBI just went to ABC to take a blast at Hastert? You mean there aren't Constitutional issues on the table? It wasn't done with malice?

KEEP HOPE ALIVE! We're gonna have to steal that one from Jesse Jackson. He gets his crowds going with it. But someday, justice, itself may be served at the Bar? Professional people have no problems with what's being exposed to lay people, here? REALLY?

Carol Herman

By the way, wanna know the real skinny?

Fitzgerald over-charged Libby because he wanted Libby to "cooperate." And, give up Cheney. I'd be surprised as all get out if such tactics were "Kosher."

More than likely they're just ways prosecutors have been collecting feathers for their caps; while our justice system goes to hell in a handbasket.

Javani

Clarice:

Fitz trying to get a conviction, not argue here the ultimate truth.

"However, if Russert has a Perry Mason moment on the witness stand and admits that,"

Russert will not confirm the "all the reporters are talking about it" statement. Because he probably said it. Probably one person told him. He had Libby on the phone, wouldn't it be a great scoop to get Libby to confirm? If it's common knowledge already might Libby slip? Russert didn't know was Libby was telling other people.

Journo trick. "People are saying" "everyone knows" prefaced inquiries. But, I might bet, Fitz slipped up.

Clarice: Did Russert say Libby told him about Wilson's wife? Or that she wasn't discussed at all?

Javani

Ed:

"Really? I forgot the part where the CIA confirmed to Novak that Plame helped get Wilson the trip"

#1 SAO was UGO. #2 SAO was Rove. #3 CIA official was a press handler.

Novak admitted he was told not to use the name, but not strongly enough...in his opinion.

cathyf
Did Russert say Libby told him about Wilson's wife? Or that she wasn't discussed at all?
Russert says not at all. Which is fundamentally a less-sure statement, since there is always the possibility that Russert is telling the honest truth, and has quite simply forgotten telling Libby. (When Woodward says that he has no memory of telling Libby, but that he may very well have because they talked about related things, Woodward is not necessarily being more honest. He may just be more self-aware. Being aware of what you don't know is harder than being aware of what you do.)

cathy :-)

Javani

Sad: From the Waas article--

""On September 29, 2003, three days after it became known that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate who leaked the name of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, columnist Robert Novak telephoned White House senior adviser Karl Rove to assure Rove that he would protect him from being harmed by the investigation, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the federal grand jury testimony of both men.""

Well, I'll eat my hat if tht happened!

Novak didn't need to call Rove, he telegraphed his position in his article around that time! When Novak told the world (and Rove) his position that all SA) #2 said was to the effect of "I heard that too".

Javani

"Russert says not at all. Which is fundamentally a less-sure statement, since there is always the possibility that Russert is telling the honest truth, and has quite simply forgotten telling Libby."

So Libby was blabbing to reporters, but just not to Russert. Makes sense. The call was instigated by Libby on another matter, and the call was hostile. Why would Libby trust a potentially hostile media outlet with his precious leaks? I doubt he would.

Which begs another question - if Libby were to lie to make it sound like he heard that from somebody... ...and if Fitz forgot to ask Libby why he didn't tell Russert since he was telling others...you can see where that is going! Lol.

owl

That Waas is one long hit job. But funny...one of my favorites....

Stanley Brand, a Washington lawyer who has represented numerous clients in several special-prosecutor investigations, said in an interview: "It is the better part of wisdom and standing instruction that witnesses to an investigation do not talk to other witnesses about the case when the case is still pending. It raises the inference that they are comparing each other's recollections and altering or shaping each other's testimony."

No kidding? How about the witnesses just jawing until they work out the kinks right before our eyes....like Russert and Mitchell.


Tom Maguire

I'm anxious to see your take on the new Waas article.

I murder it - as Patrick notes, one of his howlers is going after the implausibility of Novak relying on Rove's "I heard that, too", since that is just what Cooper said he used as confirmation from Libby.

One question about this Novak thing...wasn't it conventional thought (especially among the left) that Rove did not tell Fitz about Novak at the first GJ appearance, let alone first FBI meeting? -- it was 2nd GJ time or some such?

So in a roundabout way Waas has dashed this notion...and it appears that Rove has been MORE forthcoming...hmmmm

Good point. Even in this article, however, Rove seems to distinguish between talking to Novak and being one of the two sr. admin officials Novak cited. It may simply be that Rove said, sure, I told Novak I heard that too, but I'm not one of his two sources.

Tom Maguire

Life's ironies - from Cromagnon, who apparently prefers affirmation to information:

Another Libby filing, and another post by Maguire telling us its really actually great news for the Libby team.

And from the AP story linked in the preceding post:

But former federal prosecutor Ty Cobb said Fitzgerald's revelation about using Cheney as a witness seems like an act of desperation. ''You don't play that card unless you think you are in danger of being shut down,'' Cobb said.

Cobb said he doubts Libby's case will go to trial because of the enormous amount of classified evidence involved.

Yup, me and the AP, together at last.

(Actually, I think Ty Cobb is wrong, but how odd that the AP would even hint at this.)

clarice

Ty Cobb,MOM's lawyer? Hmmm

Carol Herman

Walton allows the Vice President of the United States to come into his courtroom? This case isn't messed enough?

Let's say there are objections raised during the Veep's questioning. Jury gets sent out while disputes get ironed out? (Memories of Judge Ito abound!)

And, exactly how does the judge look at Cheney, let's say, AND BANG HIS GAVEL? If, for instance Cheney goes on to explain he wasn't angry at Wilson at all. BUT WANTED THE TRUTH TO COME OUT.

This trial has the makings of a Marx Brothers movie written on it, now.

Sara (The Squiggler)

(Actually, I think Ty Cobb is wrong, but how odd that the AP would even hint at this.)

I find it VERY odd. If it was anyone but Cobb, I'd say it was definitely a trial balloon.

I am now going to make a prediction ... with this caveat ... IANAL and I am no expert on this case ... my prediction is that somewhere recently the MOM case/CIA leaks have intersected with the Plame evidence already in Fitz's bag and the pressure is on for Fitz to look at the much much bigger picture and step back for the good of _________ (fill in the blank). At this point, to go forward with Libby may have others worried that it will blow the big 'un.

Of course, it could just be a case of the AP getting it wrong AGAIN.

clarice

I, too think that the NSA leaks and the Plame case have intersected, but I', not sure the AG will inform Fitz of that.

Too many of the same miscreants in both pots.

Maybe he can smell it in the wind, but Gonzales will not share the ongoing investigation details with him or his staff.

Sara (The Squiggler)

Clarice, I reposted over on the new thread. I'll defer to you on what Gonzales is wouldn't do. But would it have to be Gonzales or even any sharing of details? What about the friendly word, scratch that, suggestion, that there are bigger fish to fry and that a prosecutor who values his career life after Libby would do well to think of the bigger picture. If say, Negroponte was unhappy that the big leak cases were in danger of being compromised because of this little Libby case, don't you think he'd be putting a bug in someone's ear to put a bug in Fitz's? Just speculating, of course.

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